URNE: An Interview

URNE is a band from London, UK.

Had a chance to catch up with the band as they are releasing their fantastic new album — Serpent & Spirit.

Weirding: One of the first things I notice on the new album are these layered chords. Right off the bat there's the harmony-laden intro to the first track which leads up to this nice chromatic run of layers of chords that ends in a drop to a minor chord before the main riff starts up. So, I guess this is a question for Angus — I'm interested in how you think about composing for an album versus what you can pull off in live performance as a single guitarist. Because you've given yourself quite a task with this batch of songs.

Angus: As a three piece, how the album came across live was definitely something I had in mind being a single guitarist. You don’t want to layer the instrumentation so much that it doesn’t sound as full when played live. And at the same time you still want the album to sound as best as it can. But then you take a look at Iommi, Dimebag, and Petrucci and you can’t deny how huge they sound when you see them play. For me I believe our songs were written with a good balance that between us three, the tracks still retain their heaviness no matter how you’re hearing it. A few tricks — like running through double cabs and using my harmonizer pedal, as well as the amp setup — also help filling in that second guitarist too.

Weirding: Talk to me a bit about being a band in London. Does the city influence your music? Or is your music a reaction against it in some way?

Joe: Honestly, I don’t think the City does influence us, maybe some of the bands that are in it do. 

Weirding: So what is the local scene like for heavy bands? Is there a sense of community? Competition?

Joe: The scene is London is amazing right now and I feel like it is getting stronger and more interesting. Community-wise there is certainly a strong bond and I would say where we took some time away from it all maybe we haven’t been a part of that scene — but with covid lockdown easing up, I think it's something that will change. Competition-wise, I don’t see that right now, I feel like everyone really wants each other to do well. If a band is doing well from London it draws attention to that scene — so it is only a good thing.

Weirding: Let's talk about instrumentals. 'Memorial' is a hell of a ride and I'm interested in what the songwriting process is like on a big instrumental like this. Does it start with individual riffs?

Joe: Angus and I have wanted to do a proper instrumental for as long as I can remember but It was finding the right people and band to do it with. I started writing it at home and I think I had a few riffs that I wanted to use, but for different sections. Once we got in the practice room that’s when things really started working for us.

Weirding: So, is there a grand design to it all? Or does it come together organically?

Rich: It was something we discussed early on when planning the full length, we wanted an instrumental for the sake of letting the guitars take focus. It's a nod to all sorts of bands we loved as kids — I think it's easy to pick some of them out as you make your way through the song. It was very fun to write and I'd say it’s probably the track that has the most equal parts of us three as we wrote it whilst jamming it. 

Weirding: It's been a while between the release of your EP back in 2018 and the new album. I imagine the pandemic slowed things down, but I'm really interested in the degree to which that length of time has had an impact on the way you think about the band itself. Are you the same band you were three or four years ago?

Joe: I wouldn’t say we are totally the same, but we are not far off from it. I think as people away from the band we are all the same. But we are dealing with many important things right now, so I guess we’ve had to change when dealing with those important calls. You constantly learn in music and we have made a few mistakes and we have learned from them. I’m sure as this journey continues there are things we will do differently.

Rich: We're still the same in my opinion. We knew we had to step up personally and in our song writing when doing the album and we know we have to step up again to top it. But we're basically very down to earth guys that love the challenge and love writing heavy metal. 

Angus: We were actually looking back today on some pics from three years ago when we were shooting a DIY music video for the EP. Forward to now and we’re still all the same people enjoying what we do and getting involved with ideas — but looking to always improve as musicians. 

Weirding: Last thing, I'm noticing some killer gear in the video for 'The Palace of Devils and Wolves'. Could you give us sort of a gear breakdown for guitars, bass, and drums.

Joe: I was using a Jackson 5-string, the Dave Ellefson model. Sadly he got caught being very naughty online the week of the video release. I also run Orange heads through Ampeg cabs live. Pedal-wise I use a combo of Electro Harmonix/Sansamp and Dark Glass.

Rich: I used my own Tama Starclassic kit, a mixture of cymbals, and Pearl demon drive double pedals.

Angus: I recently got a Friedman BE100 Deluxe head — which is amazing for getting a blend of modern and vintage sounding tones with high gain. On the pedalboard I’ve got a Digitech Harmonyman pedal, a GCI Riffchild pedal for slight boosting, a Digitech Hardwire delay and reverb pedal, and a Slö reverb pedal which has different wave shapes. Guitar-wise, I use a Gibson SG special 2017 model.


There is no single way that London trio URNE describe their sound, it all comes back to one thing: heavy.

Joe Nally - Bass & Vocals.

Angus Neyra - Lead Guitar.

Richard Harris - Drums.

Bandcamp: https://urne1.bandcamp.com/

New Album: https://urne1.bandcamp.com/album/serpent-spirit-download-only 

Twitter: @urneband

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